Author Archives: Sailing website

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Water for 3 Thirsty Bears!

By Richard Crockett It’s unusual to have three bears at sea, especially thirsty ones, but luckily for the crew of ‘Three Bears’, ‘Tafelberg’ was able to assist them with water, and batteries to start their engine in order to charge their own batteries. Plus the crew received a huge bonus in the form of showers and beanfeast in the wardroom! I see a race penalty for outside assistance on the horizon! Hospitality in Cape Town was superb, especially for the ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Rio Ketch Penalty Possible

By Richard Crockett The party has started in Rio now that yachts are arriving at the finish, with many race followers in Rio to welcome their sailors. ‘Graybeard’ was confirmed as the second boat to finish – which now means that the handicap honours are hotting up. And again, due obviously to different deadline schedules, there was confusion as to who was leading – one headline said ‘Albatros’, another stated that ‘Striana’ had won! We need to put this in ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Ocean Spirit is First Home

by Richard Crockett From all the press cuttings in the past few days it has not been reported as to how ‘Ocean Spirit’ dramatically took the lead and ultimately line honours. Maybe that’s a mystery we will have to live with! Obviously the crew were well not just in health and looks, but also having eaten so well throughout the race thanks to their cook. Sadly cooks aboard ship get little credit for their additional duties, yet I suppose the ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” from my archives. Five-Yacht Dash for Line Honours

by Richard Crockett News is now finely focussed on the 1971 Cape to Rio Race finish and who the likely winner would be. While it seemed that ‘Ocean Spirit’ would have that honour, there was ‘Fortuna’ with ‘Graybeard’, ‘Pen Duick III’ and ‘Stormy’ hot on their transoms and fighting all the way. As has become “normal”, ‘Pen Duick’ again did not reported her position so she is the wildcard, and could be cause for concern as her skipper Eric Tabarly ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Ketch May Cross Rio Line Today

by Richard Crockett I am sure the older readers will identify with my interest when tried and tested “old fashion” methods of navigation and communication are mentioned as it shows how far we have progressed since the 1971 Rio Race – and also how far we also may have retrogressed as navigation, accurate to within a few metres, is now possible at the push of a button. But that debated is not for now! I mentioned the above as I ... Read More »

Sailor of the Month – postponed due to COVID!

Sadly with sailing still on the backburner, the monthly Sailor of the Month award is postponed until the sport gets back to normal. Thanks to Raymarine and MDM Marine services for their continued support and understanding during these difficult times. Stay Safe please. Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Yachts Far Behind Still Very Much in Race.

by Richard Crockett The fleet has been at sea for 19 days now, with a pattern beginning to emerge and the possible winners on handicap and line honours beginning to become more clear. But ocean racing is an unforgiving sport as one is always at the mercy of the wind which can change direction or speed – or both – in a flash. What I am enjoying is that more information is being broadcast about the bulk of the fleet ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Ocean Spirit Holds on to Rio Lead.

By Richard Crockett News is very varied today, with relief felt that the all women crew are well and in no trouble. The race to lead the fleet in to Rio is hotting up with ‘Ocean Spirit’ heading that attack, a mere 18nm ahead of ‘Striana’ and 28nm ahead of ‘Stormy’ with 800nm to go. While this is the race the landlubbers understand, it is the handicap race – to finish first on handicap (corrected time) that determines the overall ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Tabarly Shows His Hand – At Last

By Richard Crockett 7 photos of the Pionier Crew arriving in Cape Town Sailing is one of those sports where there are no referees or umpires watching every single move of each yacht as it competes in a race. Instead, every single person aboard is a judge who is expected to play by the rules. Now, having not read the rules for this 1971 race, I am pretty sure that the daily position reporting was a rule, which is why ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” from my archives. From Zero to Hero

By Richard Crockett 17 days after the race started the focus of attention amongst the journalists is very much on just two yachts now, ‘Albatros II’ and ‘Mercury’, both sisterships and both heading the fleet in terms of distance to the finish and more importantly on handicap too. Little is being said of the big glamour boats as these two hog the headlines. I must say that they both thoroughly deserve the attention, especially ‘Albatros’ as she damaged her mast ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. “All Eyes on Southernmost Race Leaders”.

By Richard Crockett The newsmen aboard the guardship continue to hammer out the news of the massive duel sisterships ‘Albatros II’ and Mercury’ are having in the southern portion of the race course. As they lead overall it’s natural that they are getting so much attention as yacht racing is, after all, about winning. But those with loved ones, family and friends aboard other yachts would like some info too! And don’t be surprised to read that the sinking of ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett. Full Report – the Sinking of Pionier

by Richard Crockett One of the most dramatic incidents of the 1971 Cape to Rio race was the sinking of ‘Pionier’ in mid-South Atlantic. Her crew were lucky to have spent only 19 hours in their liferaft after the yacht sunk beneath them very quickly at night, in an area way off the traditional shipping lanes. It’s a good read from anyone going to sea in a small vessel should glean some useful information. The article below is an extract ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. First Message from Pionier Crew.

by Richard Crockett There is little news available today for some reason, other than news coming from the crew of ‘Pionier’ who were battling to come to terms with their dramatic sinking. It is interesting, that despite a six-hour delay after the start to effect mast repairs in the clam of Robben Island, ‘Albatross II’ continues to lead the fleet on actual distance left to Rio, and on handicap. And her sistership, ‘Mercury, maintains second spot on both calculations. So ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Having A Whale of A Time!!!

By Richard Crockett Spending 19 hours in a liferaft can hardly be classified as “having a whale of a time”, but that’s what the crew of Pionier did after hitting a whale mid-ocean, and at night too. Luckily for them they were rescued relatively quickly. Back in those days there was no GPS, no handheld satellite phones and basically none of the personal safety gear available today, so once in the liferaft they were at the mercy of the elements ... Read More »

Vendee Globe. The Closest Finish Ever

by Richard Crockett What a nail-biting finish – and a very different finish for the Vendee Globe singlehanded non-stop race as the first boat over the finish line was not the overall winner – which is very unusual! Let me explain. In mid-December Kevin Escoffier was rescued from his sinking vessel by three competitors who diverted from their chosen courses to assist a man in distress. For their efforts, all three were awarded a time bonus by the International Jury ... Read More »